The human body can be a weird and wonderful place, full of mysteries and surprises. Researchers are constantly discovering more facts about our bodies, sometimes leading to great advances in science and healthcare. Learning these facts can help us understand more about how our bodies work and why they sometimes react in confusing ways. Mostly, they are just fun pieces of information.
Here are 10 random facts about the body, some of which you probably don’t already know.
1. Your body could be composed of up to 75% water
The exact amount depends on the individual, varying from about 50 – 75 percent. The average figure is about 60 percent.
2. Your ‘tongueprint’ is unique to you
You probably know that fingerprints, palm prints and irises can be used to identify an individual person (biometrics) but did you know the pattern of your tongue is also unique to you?
3. The human body contains about 7 octillion atoms
That’s 7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 which is a mind-bogglingly huge number and every single one of them was formed either during the big bang or in a supernova explosion. You are literally made from stardust!
4. You are as old as your mother
The egg from which you grew formed in your mother’s ovaries when she was still an embryo. So if you count your real age as being from when the egg from which you came formed, then you are the same age as your mother.
5. Rice has twice as many genes as humans
Only about one and a half percent of human DNA comprises our genes, the rest of it has various jobs such as switching genes on and off and making key chemicals for the body. There are around 20 – 25,000 genes on our DNA whilst over 50,000 have been found in rice.
6. At age 60, an estimated 80% of people will have eyelash mites
These harmless creatures live at the base of your eyelashes and in their follicles.
7. Ears are designed to clean themselves
As you chew, and as the skin inside the ear grows, earwax (cerumen) slowly moves to the outside of the ear canal and flakes off.
8. Some children are born with an extra finger or toe
This is called polydactyly. In postaxial polydactyly, the hand or foot looks normal other than the presence of the extra finger or toe. In the preaxial form, the extra digit appears to grow from the side of either the thumb or little finger.
9. Your saliva and stomach acids kill most of the bacteria you ingest
Occasionally some get through and it is those that cause food poisoning.
10. Food is digested in the small intestines
Many people associate the stomach with digestion of food. The stomach produces chyme which is a gooey mixture of your food and digestive juices. As it passes though the small intestine, digestion is completed.